Binding fan fiction and reexamining book production models


  • Shira Belén Buchsbaum Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, London, England, United Kingdom



Book history, Fan binding, Fic binding, Gift economy


Binding fan fiction into books is an increasingly popular phenomenon that follows in the footsteps of twentieth-century fanzines and challenges the current perception of fic as an exclusively digital form. Fan binders complicate book historical notions of bookmaking as a commercially driven enterprise by infusing it with affective connotations that rearrange the book production model of Robert Darnton's communication circuit. The notion of a fan fiction communication circuit extends Darnton's model to account for the noncommercial, reciprocal practices of fan fiction production. Members of Renegade Bindery, a community of fan binders on Discord, provide testimony regarding their philosophy, technique, and motivation that paints a complex picture of contemporary private bookbinding practices that construes value for printed works through affective labor rather than commercial return.


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